On the Interplay of Organizational Architecture and Software Architecture

  • Wojciech Ganczarski University of St. Gallen
  • Robert Winter University of St. Gallen


Enterprise architecture frameworks sometimes provide an additional architectural layer between business-oriented artefact types (e.g., business processes, organizational units) and technical artefact types (e.g., software components, data structures). This "integration" or "alignment" layer is intended to bridge the gap, which results from different life cycles, different ownerships, and other sources of IT/business misalignment. The development of specific models and artefact types on the integration layer is in its early stage. Existing methods for information systems design constitute a first starting point. However, most of them lack a clear differentiation between the integration layer and the software layer and therefore cannot be reused as-is. This paper contributes to the research of design methods, models, and artefact type specifications for the integration layer. The focus lies primarily on the alignment of organizational architecture and structural software architecture, two important components of enterprise architecture. A comparison of organizational and software architecture design methods yields that both types of structures are usually constructed according to different design criteria so that un-aligned architectures result. Traditional integration artefacts, such as "logical" applications, which specify coherent areas of ownership over software artefacts, are too closely linked to actual software system structures and therefore usually fail in aligning with the organizational architecture. It is argued in this paper that instead, integration artefacts should be much more decoupled from actual software structures.
Research Articles